How NASS, Executive Are Collaborating To Tackle Insecurity – Lawan

National Assembly Is Ready To Work For Nigerians – Lawan
A file photo of the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan. Photo: [email protected]

 

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has said that the National Assembly and the Executive are collaborating on the best ways to tackle the issue of kidnapping and insecurity in the country.

Lawan was quoted to have said this in a statement by the Special Assistant (Press) to President of the Senate, Ezrel Tabiowo on Wednesday, while giving his remarks on a motion titled: “Urgent need for Security Agencies to intervene in the increased rate of kidnapping in the riverine areas of Ogun East Senatorial District and Securing the Waterways.”

According to the statement, the motion was sponsored by Senator Lekan Mustapha (APC, Ogun East).

The Senate President explained that there is an ongoing collaboration between the National Assembly and security agencies to seek alternative ways of finding a permanent solution to the lingering situation of kidnapping and insecurity across the country.

Identifying funding as a major setback in the fight against insecurity, Lawan said the legislature with the support of the executive arm of government would explore the possibility of sourcing for funds separately from what was budgeted for security agencies in the 2020 budget.

He warned that relying solely on budgetary provisions for security agencies would make it impossible for the Federal Government to tackle the challenge of insecurity across parts of the country.

Lawan further disclosed that the National Assembly had requested the National Security Adviser, Babagana Munguno, to come up with a proposal for the acquisition of drones that would be deployed across the country to facilitate the arrest of kidnappers.

He said the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, had also received the nod to devise a means of tracking kidnappers through active mobile numbers used in the course of negotiations.

The Senate President, who disclosed plans by the Federal Government to launch a National Emergency Call Centre, said an emergency phone number was already activated for the purpose of contacting the various security agencies in times of distress.

“In the last one month, I’ve been holding regular meetings with security agencies, including the Ministers of Communications and the Federal Capital Territory.
“What we are trying to do is to get a better and result-oriented approach to fighting kidnapping and insecurity.

“We have insisted that no amount of resources will be too much because we need to protect our people and secure the country.

“It will remain a pipe dream if we continue to ask investors to come to Nigeria; even those in Nigeria will not invest properly if the security situation remains very dicey.

“This is something that the National Assembly will have to do together with the executive arm of government. We have to look for something out of the ordinary for funding.

“We have to go out of our way to look for resources outside the national budget. If we can release seven billion naira to Distribution Companies (Discos) or Generation Companies (Gencos), nothing stops us from looking for such money to address the security situation of the country.

“We have already given a request for the NSA to come up with the different designs and models of drones. We hope there should be drones properly deployed to ensure kidnappers are arrested.

“We have to find a way to be able to track kidnappers through phones. We should have launched the National Emergency Call Centre with a specific number about two weeks ago.

“We have tried to reconcile all security agencies to have one specific number instead of separate and different ones. We want the emergency call centres to be established across the country. At the moment we have only two major ones”.

Earlier, the sponsor of the motion, Senator Mustapha bemoaned the recent increase in the activities of criminal syndicates who specialize in kidnapping and militant activities in and around riverine communities in Ogun East Senatorial District, particularly Ode-omi, Makun and Iwopin in Ogun Waterside Local Government Area of Ogun state.

He said that the activities of these criminals have forced law-abiding residents of coastal and riverine communities of the affected communities to flee their communities and livelihood out of fear.

Accordingly, the Senate in its resolutions urged the Federal Government to direct the Inspector-General of Police to immediately instruct the Commissioner of Police, Ogun State, to beef-up the strength of his men to effectively secure all the affected creeks and communities.

The upper chamber also urged the Federal Government to direct the Inspector-General of Police to immediately make available sufficient helicopters for aerial surveillance and gunboat to the Marine Police departments to enable the state command tackle the activities of militants.

The Senate also urged the Nigerian Navy to establish a Naval Base in Makun-omi because of its strategic location between Ondo and Lagos State and its accessibility to both road and water.

Operation Positive Identification Is A Breach Of Constitution – Senior Lawyer

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Jibrin Okutepa, during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily faulted the planned introduction of Operation Positive Identification across the country.

 

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Jibrin Okutepa, has faulted the planned introduction of Operation Positive Identification across the country.

Okutepa who was a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Monday noted that the act is a breach of the nation’s constitution.

The legal practitioner argued that the move which security operatives explained will address the numerous challenges in the country is creating an impression that the Federal Government does not seem to know what it’s doing.

“It does appear to me that government doesn’t seem to know what to do when it comes to doing what is supposed to be done.

“It is difficult to understand and amounts to a breach of our constitution to ask a Nigerian within a Nigerian territory to identify his or herself,” he said.

READ ALSO: Bandit Attacks: Victims Demand Military Formation In Kaduna LG

Speaking further, the lawyer explained that the Federal Government has not properly given all Nigerians a proper means of national identification since not all citizens possess either an identity, voter card or driver’s licence.

While admitting that the country faces numerous security challenges, he however insisted that the new policy will rather subject the citizens into further pains.

The ‘Operation Positive Identification’ is to be launched on November 1 by the military in collaboration with other security agencies.

The exercise will see soldiers accosting citizens on the streets or highways and asking them to produce means of identification on the spot. Soldiers had been taking similar measures to separate citizens from terrorists in the Boko Haram-ravaged northeastern part of Nigeria.

Masari Seeks Lasting Solution To Banditry, Kidnapping In Northern States

 

Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari, has drawn the attention of the Technical Committee on security for the 19 Northern states to focus attention on finding solutions to the four critical and lingering problems rocking the region.

These include banditry, cattle rustling, kidnapping and Boko Haram insurgency.

The governor was speaking at the opening of the maiden meeting of the technical committee on security for the 19 northern states held at the General Muhammadu Buhari Government House, Katsina state.

READ ALSO: EFCC Arrests Alleged Magu’s Impersonators For Defrauding American Lady

The governor while asking the committee to make suggestions on how to control the land borders as most of the problems rocking the country are being imported daily from the neighboring countries believes that traditionally since the creation of Nigeria, there were some tribal and religious tensions, boundary disputes as well as communal clashes in some parts of the country.

He enjoined the committee to also look at the overall picture of why the committee was set up and come up with broad solutions vis-à-vis the peculiarities of each state.

Ihedioha Restates Commitment To Tackling Insecurity In Imo

File Photo: Imo State Governor-Elect, Emeka Ihedioha, speaks after receiving his Certificate of Return.

 

The Imo State Governor, Emeka Ihedioha, has reiterated his administration’s commitment to securing lives and property in the State.

While receiving the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 82 Division, Enugu, Brig. General Lasisi Adeboye and his entourage at the Government House, Owerri, Governor Ihedioha explained that although security had been a challenge in the state especially after the elections, there has been an improvement.

“It was challenging tackling insecurity in the state after the elections, but we have now found our rhythm in corroboration with the security agencies to deal with crime in the State.

“The Army has been working with us in tackling security challenges in the State” he said.

The governor further commended the Force for deploying General Adeboye to the 83 Division.

He said he was optimistic that with his wealth of experience, he would live up to expectation.

“We want to assure you of the commitment and readiness of the government and the good people of Imo State to corroborate with the Nigerian Army in general, the 82 Division and 32 Artillery Brigade, Obinze in particular”.

In his remarks, General Adeboye also commended the Governor for what he described as his unwavering commitment to ensuring the security of the people of the state.

Negotiating With Criminals Cannot Solve Security Challenges, Says Retired Army General

A retired Army officer, Major General Cecil Esekhaigbe, has said that negotiations with criminals will not solve the numerous security challenges confronting the nation.

Esekhaigbe stated this on Monday during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, barely 48 hours after 15 victims were released by bandits in Katsina state, following negotiations with the state governor, Aminu Masari.

“I do not support somebody waking up somewhere and say let me negotiate with a criminal and you think that will solve the problem, no.

“It must be done with a correct intervention by the people that matter and the people in charge of security in those areas,” he said.

Speaking further, he called for robust cooperation and collaboration among security agencies in the country.

The retired army officer believes that intelligence if shared and utilized, can help to nip in the bud, criminal activities ranging from kidnapping, banditry, armed robbery, terrorism among several others.

READ ALSO: Bandits Release 15 Kidnapped Victims In Katsina

When asked if the governor’s dialogue with criminals to release kidnapped citizens can yield positive results, he replied saying: “I do not know the involvement of security agencies in the adventure. The police must be involved in that operation so that they will tell you the fundamentals of criminality.

A retired Army officer, Major General Cecil Esekhaigbe has spoken against swapping criminals in exchange for kidnapped victims.

“If you (as a governor) just do it on your own and showcase that you are doing something in your case, it’s a vicious cycle. You get these guys released, they get money from you and that money they use it to equip themselves more and the crime continues.

“It’s a good idea if it follows a good procedure by getting the security and intelligence agencies to provide a template for it,” he said.

Speaking on effective policing of the nation, he called for proper funding and training of the Nigeria Police.

Governor Aminu Masari in August had a dialogue with suspected bandits at their hideouts, in a bid to ensure peace returned in the state.

According to Masari’s Director-General on Media and Publicity, Mr. Abdu Labaran, the decision was taken at an extraordinary security meeting.

The dialogue led to the release of 30 kidnapped persons by bandits in September, after an initial 15 regained freedom in similar circumstances summing up to 45.

The recent 15 victims released on Sunday mostly women and children, increased the figures to 60 that gained freedom through the state government intervention.

Meanwhile, Masari has assured that the next level of the dialogue with the bandits would be disarmament of the repentant bandits.

 

 

We Need A Radical Approach In Tackling Insecurity, ‘Kidnapping’ – Lawan

 

The President of the Senate, Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan, on Wednesday, said the Senate will adopt a radical approach in tackling the rising spate of kidnapping and insecurity across the country.

Lawan made this known during the consideration of a motion brought to the floor by Senate Dino Melaye (PDP, Kogi West).

He said, “The issue of kidnapping, banditry and other crimes affect all of us. I agree completely that we need to do something differently.

“You recall that before we went on recess, we agreed we need to go back to the report to review the architecture of security in Nigeria, which the 8th Senate set up, in addition to a public hearing on a way to ensure that we review the security architecture and structure of our agencies today.

“The way they are designed, we are not getting the best out of them; and we can’t go on like this. We will take it up with the executive arm of government, and also our Committee on Communications and the Federal Ministry of Communications.”

The Senate President stated that the ministry has expressed its willingness to block the phone lines that have not been registered.

“The bandits and kidnappers use telephone lines to negotiate, so it means there will always be a lead to where or who they are.

“At the last count, I was told two million lines have been blocked. I think we should go far beyond that.

“And maybe we will need to be a bit radical. We need to give the security agencies some more funds but insist on accountability.”

Lawan urged the security agencies to give an account of the utilisation of funds released to them.

“It is not enough to give them money; we must see how they utilise it. We must insist on that; and if we do that, we also insist that uniform people must not join the train because they are the ones that are supposed to protect us on highways.

“The military, the police and other paramilitary agencies should allow ordinary people to use the train. Let them ply the roads because that would make other road users use the roads,” Lawan said.

Accordingly, the Senate urged the security agencies to adequately secure the Lokoja-Abuja road and other roads in the country.

The upper chamber also called on the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to intensify efforts in protecting the lives and properties of Nigerians.

The Senate, in its prayers, adopted, also resolved to introduce legislation that would curb the activities of kidnappers in the country.

Earlier, Senator Melaye, who presented the motion while coming under a point of order, was unanimously supported by lawmakers across party lines.

Presenting his motion, Melaye prayed the chamber to call on security agencies to immediately wade into what he described as the “dastardly and abnormal acts” which pose a threat to the lives of Nigerians.

Speaking on the motion, the Senate Minority Leader, Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe (PDP, Abia), bemoaned the activities of bandits along other expressways across the country.

He called on security agencies to rise to the occasion, pointing out that they have a constitutional duty to protect the lives of Nigerian citizens.

The lawmaker also condemned the activities of some security personnel who were allegedly fingered to be working in collaboration with kidnappers.

Meanwhile, a total of five bills have scaled the first reading on the floor of the Senate on Wednesday.

The five bills were presented during plenary.

The bills are: The Federal University of Education Kotangora Bill, 2019, sponsored by Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (APC, Niger North); and Federal College of Education Illo (Est.) Bill, 2019, sponsored by Senator Yahaya Abubakar Abdullahi (APC, Kebbi North).

Others are Food Security Bill, 2019, sponsored by Theodore Orji ( PDP, Abia Central); Communication Tax Bill, 2019, sponsored by Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume (APC, Borno South) and Private Hospitals Regulation Bill, 2019, sponsored by Senator Stella Adaeze Oduah (PDP, Anambra North).

The bills were referred by the President of Senate, Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan, to the relevant committees for further legislative work.

Insecurity: Military Intervention Unnecessary Unless Dialogue Fails – Niger Governor

Governor Abubakar Bello

 

The Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, has said that except dialogue fails, military intervention in the security challenges affecting the country is not necessary.

The governor stated this on Saturday at the 2nd General Abdulsalami Abubakar Foundation Annual Peace Lecture.

He identified population explosion and lack of clear cut grazing routes in the country as catalysts for most of the security challenges in the country as reflected in the current farmers/herders clashes.

The governor commended the Abdulsalami Institute for Peace for its efforts in promoting peace in the country and calls on other eminent Nigerians to contribute their quota towards the development of the country.

READ ALSO: Niger Governor Releases 13 Prisoners

He advocated the engagement of traditional rulers, especially village and district heads in peacebuilding and conflict resolution process as they are closest to the grassroots.

” It is sad that many eminent personalities in Nigeria, including those in active public services and those retired, have become complacent and are doing nothing to proffer solution to the challenges in the country, but have rather assumed the position of critics, calling for revolution rather than solution”.

He alluded to the Rwandan genocide and the Nigerian Civil war as clear examples of what could happen to a nation when eminent citizens channel their efforts in the wrong direction.

He, therefore, urged Nigerians to see good in themselves and the country as no investor would come to a country where the citizens do not see anything good about themselves or their country.

Describing some politicians as bad politicians who promoting violence and unhealthy rivalry in Nigeria, the Governor charged them to desist from acts capable of disrupting the peace and progress of the country.

FG Asks Governors To Use Modern Technology In Tackling Insecurity

Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola

 

The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, has asked state governors especially the North East and North Western Zones of the country, to emulate the Kaduna State Government’s model of tackling insecurity through the deployment of modern technology.

Mr. Aregbesola said that the use of modern technology will help the Federal Government’s efforts and security personnel in combating all forms of crime and criminality in the zones.

Aregbesola made the call today in his office in Abuja when he received in audience the Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufa’i who paid him a courtesy visit.

READ ALSO: Why There’s Been A Delay In Delivery Of Road Projects – Fashola

According to him, Crime has become complex the world over and that can best be tackled through the deployment of modern technology to assist the security personnel deployed to ensure the security of lives and property in the country. “Through the use of modern technology, the menace of banditry, cattle rustling, kidnapping and other vices bedeviling the country will be put behind within the shortest possible time”, he said.

The Minister further said that this will influence the development of an effective strategy on a regional basis for curtailing the menace of insecurity and its attendant challenges facing the nation, especially in the North-Western Zone.

Aregbesola who said that security is the key to effective, meaningful and social interaction, added that the economy of any nation depends on its internal security.

While commending the Governor for seeking collaboration with the Federal Government in the fight against insecurity, the Minister emphasized that the state of insecurity facing the country in recent times was a national challenge that demands a collective effort to stem, and therefore urged the Governors to continue to collaborate with the Federal Government in its efforts to provide safety and security to Nigerians.

Ogbeni Rauf further commended the Governor for his support to the State Commands of the Security Agencies under the Ministry in Kaduna State through the provision of conducive atmosphere to enable them to contribute effectively towards the protection of lives and property in the state.

He assured that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is committed to the provision of security to Nigerians in order to encourage economic development and revitalization of the economy as well as entrench transparency in the system so as to move the country to the next level.

Speaking earlier, the Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufa’i stated that he was in the Ministry to first, congratulate the Minister on his recent appointment and to seek for collaboration on how best to tackle the spate of insecurity in the state.

He said that the Federal Government has done creditably well towards restoring security along the Kaduna-Abuja Expressway through the deployment of security personnel from all relevant Ministries, Departments, and Agencies that are in charge of ensuring security in the country.

Mal. El-Rufa’i expressed the State Government’s desire to continue to collaborate with the Ministry of Interior and other security agencies in the fight against insecurity, noting that, Kaduna State Government is willing to give its necessary assistance that will support the security agencies in combating crime and criminality in the state and its environs.

The Governor who stated that the state was now safe, compared to the situation in a few months back, commended the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) for its dogged determination to fight against crime, describing it as one of the best security agencies in the country.

NLC Set To Hold National Rally Over Insecurity

NLC, Strike, fuel price
FILE PHOTO of NLC members

 

Worried by the rising insecurity in the country the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has concluded plans to embark on a nationwide rally.

The rally according to the union is to sensitise governments and citizens on the need to urgently arrest the increased case of insecurity ranging from kidnapping, banditry, among others.

READ ALSO: Gunmen Kidnap CMD Of Irrua Specialist Hospital

This decision, which was disclosed in a communique on Monday, was part of the resolutions reached by the national executive committee of the NLC, during its recently concluded meeting in Kano State.

Labour leaders during the meeting highlighted the negative effects of the current security situation on the nation’s economy.

Also contained in the communique issued at the end of the meeting is the issue of the implementation of the new national minimum wage.

The union called on the Federal Government to immediately begin implementation of the new minimum wage for civil servants.

They insisted that the Federal and State governments must commence the payment of the new wage immediately, beginning from when the bill was signed into law by the president.

 

Insecurity: South East Governors Meet In Enugu

 

Governors of the five southeastern states of the country have converged on the Enugu State Government House for their first meeting since the beginning of the year.

Top on the agenda of the meeting is a review of the security situation in the zone and ways to improve it.

The meeting would also address the issue of effective community policing as well as the possible establishment of the southeast security trust fund.

So far, governors of Ebonyi and Abia State, as well as the Deputy Governor of Anambra State have arrived at the venue.

Governor Emeka Ihedioha of Imo State is also expected at the meeting.

Nigerian Army Trains 259 Officers On Counter-Terrorism Operations

 

The Nigerian Army has trained a fresh set of 259 officers on counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations for onward deployment to the northeast and other troubled parts of the country.

During the six-month training, they were exposed to academic and field exercises such as tactical combat shooting, unarmed combat and water exercises, stop and search techniques on roadblocks and checkpoints, rescue missions, identification of Improvised Explosive Devices among other things.

At their passing out ceremony at the Nigerian Army School of Infantry, Jaji, Kaduna State, the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin, said the new officers are joining the force at a critical time when the military is doing everything possible to tackle the security challenges in the country.

He, therefore, stated that much is expected from them in terms of keeping the country together and tackling the rising security challenges especially by Boko Haram insurgents, among others.

Insecurity: South-West Does Not Want War, Says Ooni Of Ife

 

The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunlesi has raised an alarm over the security challenge in the country, declaring that the southwest does not want war.

Oba Ogunlusi made this known after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the statehouse on Thursday.

Speaking on behalf of other traditional leaders in the region, he noted that the challenge in the southwestern part of the country is real as most rural communities have been occupied by strange people.

The Ooni reiterated that the traditional leaders are worried and are prepared to work with the government as they called for a reinforcement of federal apparatus to defend themselves from people he describes as bad eggs who may not all necessarily be Fulani’s.

READ ALSO: ‘Enough Is Enough’, Ooni Of Ife Condemns Killings

He called on all those beating the drums of war as well as politicians escalating issues to desist from acts capable of causing anarchy as the nation cannot withstand a war.

He further disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari assured him that he will reveal his own side of the story on the issue of Ruga settlement as the issue has been taken out of context.

President Buhari also said that firm and unwavering action is required to put the security threats under control adding that any evasion of rules and regulations in ways that aid corruption and illicit financial outflows must be vigorously fought and defeated.